Friday, June 29, 2012

Photos to enjoy

The photos below were taken by a customer of ours who is obviously quite the photographer!

Remember, little sprouts farm is available for visits pretty much any time, just call ahead to make sure we are here.

The little Khaki Campbell Ducks floating across their pond

These girls were ready to pose!

Hunter chose this handsome fellow for a closeup, can he catch him?

There he is!

Is that a happy rooster face?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Honey experiments draws a unexpected crowd

We were working on a recipe for honey candy this weekend. As the honey boiled in a pot on the stove. ... they showed up.  Not one,  not two,  but a handful of curious and perhaps a little angry visitors. They slipped inside our home without notice,  not sure yet  how.  Fortunately no one was hurt, and they left peaceably.
Who were these uninvited guests?  None other than the produced of the golden honey itself.. . Bees!  Somehow they smelled the boiling honey,  slipped into our home and were searching out the source of the aroma.
Nevertheless,  the experiments went well and we produced two batches of lemon honey cough drops,  and two batches of lemon honey taffy,  one quite sour. It will take a bit more experimenting before these are ready for resale, but the results were pleasing.
One thing we learned.. . Be very careful with temperature when boiling honey to the candy stage.  The difference between 280 and 310 degrees is seconds.  At 305 honey scorches,  but you must get to 300 to produce hard candy.  Tight controls are in order, but it can be done!
Hopefully this will lead to our own line of no sugar added honey candies.  We proved to ourselves that it can be done,  now we just need to perfect the recipe. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A new fear of genetically modified crops ?

The article below brings to light a whole new fear of genetically modified crops.  Not only is the question how damaging to health the crops are today,  but as this story points out. .... what happens if there is a mutation of the modification?  That opens up a whole new world of hurt and damage.  The mutation tbat seemed to happen during the Texas drought produced grass that produces deadly poison in high amounts.  What would happen if a similar event happened with GM corn,  soybeans,  or alfalfa.  Suddenly we have a uncontrollable situation.

I say,  better to let nature alone.  GM crops have produced no benefit to date,  only damage.  It appears we are only now realizing how bad playing god in this delicate area can be.

GM grass linked to Texas cattle deaths

Friday, June 22, 2012

Little sprouts kombucha tests very low in sugar

Since we have finally settled on out kombucha recipe,  we needed to measure the final sugar content of our brew.  At first I tried using the hydromter, but it was giving confusing results.  The sugar content shown through testing was not falling as expected,  even when the drink was quite sour.  My theory is that using raw sugar and sucanant was leaving lots of non sugar dissolved solids, thereby giving a false reading. 

So today we picked up some clinitab reagants tablets.  They are primarily used to test for sugars in the urine,  but are also quite useful for testing sugar content in fermented drinks. 

The tests confirmed what we suspected.  Our kombucha recipe was ending with very low sugar.  One batch showed .25% sugar and another showed only trace amounts.  In contrast I tested two popular store brands and found them to show 3% to 5% sugar!  The little sprouts kombucha has 1/4 the sugar of store brands,  or even less!  That is very good news.

For families and individuals  such as our own who avoid sugars and carbs, this is vitally important.  It means little sprouts kombucha can be enjoyed without concern about the negative effects of sugar. We are very happy that we managed to create our own recipe that has plenty of natural flavor,  health benefits,  and no sugar!

If you haven't tried our kombucha,  encouraged you to give it a try soon .  We offer utbolaub,  unflavored,  but you can result flavor it yourself in a variety of ways.  Either plain or labored this acid rich probiotics food is a significant addition to any healthy nutrition program. The benefits are quite astounding!

Friday, June 15, 2012

First venture into the new world

These lucky 24 young turkeys are making tgeuedueat venture into the real world,  out in the open pasture. We moved a set of the largest to the next stage as a test,  to make sure they are ready before risking the full flock.

So far they seem perfectly fine to be out on their own but perhaps a little apprehensive.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hogs back out on pasture

We moved the hogs back to the pasture this week,  with a slightly new setup.

For feeder we built a Osbourne pasture feeder.  It has some unique qualities.  This size should gold up to a month of feed when filled completely,  it has no feed doors and yet works perfectly fine in the rain,  and it eliminates waste and food fights. On top of all that it is on kids so is moveable!  We are very pleased.

The hogs are quite happy to be out grazing again after a winter in their pen.  They went straight for the wet area and started digging,  as pigs do.  Today we move their shelter and water out and the pen can be rebuilt finally.

Our intention is to have the hogs out on pasture all summer while planting their pen with food crops for the fall and winter. 

We should save a lot on feed, be more sustaining,  and have happier healthier hogs!

Seeing the apples in the seed

I heard an old quote last Sunday in church. 

You can count the seeds unable apple but can you count the apples in a seed?

What a quote!  This little statement captures the very essence of farming.  Farming is an occupation,  a calling,  of looking into the future and banking on the promise of tomorrow.  One little seed is not much,  but it is everything.  Just a little care and that tiny seed becomes much,  it becomes food,  profit,  and the future.

Life is like that,  if we spend our time counting our seeds,  we have.. . Well. .. seeds.  If we plant them we have many many apples.  The trick is to see the apples inside our seeds.

This is the definition of a bad day

Ever feel like you just can't get things right?  Like every thing you do today is ineffective and painful?  Well that is certainly the day our ram was having when we found him struggling in the back corner of the pasture.  His horns were lodged tightly around the t post,  his head entangled in the fence. I had to cut the fence wire to free him.

Oddly,  just as we do when in similar situations,  he continually tried to free himself by pulling back with all his strength.  It was only when he relaxed,  quit fighting,  and let me move him forward that he found true freedom. Just as we often fight that which would free is,  his struggles only made his situation worse.  Perhaps there is a lesson in here for all of us?

In the end he was fine,  no harm except to his pride.

Saying goodbye to one of our beginnings

Yesterday was bitter sweet.  We finally said goodbye to one of our first breeders, our first boar. It was time. He is replaced by a new nose,  smaller,  younger,  and hopefully able to perform his duties better.

This is a necessary part of farm life.

The size of the first boar  was nothing short of amazing.  As you can see in  the picture he was much too big to fit in the truck.  His live weight came in right at 700 lbs,  the single largest boar this butcher has ever processed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lard: poison or medicine?

Little Sprouts sells traditionally rendered lard on occasion.  But isn't lard bad for you?  Doesn't it cause great disease?
Well. .. simply said,  NO.  Lard substitutes cause problems,  not lard. To understand why the confusion,  read this article. It gives a historical perspective on why people think lard is bad:
Over Half of Your Diet Should Consist of Saturated Fats
There are other studies showing that the lack of good saturated day in the dirt is at the root of a long list of serious health problems.  Our bodies need a steady intake of good saturated fat to be healthy.
I say good saturated day because you have to be careful.  True natural day is dangerous in that fat is where any toxins that the animal  consumed is stored.  If the animal is not raised right,  the day becomes very unhealthy.  For this reason we must shy away from any fat  from factory farmed animals,  it can be toxic. In contrast fat  from naturally raised animals is an essential part of a healthy life.
So. ... KNOW YOUR FARMER and enjoy traditional animal based saturated fats  as a medicinal food.  But never consume fat  from any source that you do not know. It can be dangerous.
At little sprouts we raise animals so that our lard,  eggs,  and all fat  is healthy and beneficial. We encourage anyone to come by and see how we do things,  and how we are different.
Lard is one of nature's healthiest fats. If raised properly.

Beyond organic!

We are often asked "are you organic? " . The answer is,  we are beyond organic.  The organic label is no longer what people think,  it does not declare fresh unadulterated natural foods like our ancestors ate.  Today the organic label only declares a "more " natural food than commonly available,  but by no means truly natural.  Check out this story to see why

Wildfires Rage at New Mexican Organic Meetings | Cornucopia Institute

Little sprouts is truly ancestral foods.  We strive to live by the true meaning of organic foods,  way beyond what supermarket shelves offer as organic labels.  We use NO chemicals,  practice NO intervention,  and produce food products that are truly the food of our ancestors. This is at the core of who we are and why we left the life of high profit corporate America to create a farm that creates good wholesome food.

In our mind,  any trace of synthetic chemical is too much and is totally unnecessary in our food.  We don't have to put up with it,  we don't have to feed it to our children.  We can make traditional foods,  as our created intended,  to nourish our bodies instead of poison it,  and enjoy great flavor and the pleasure of eating in the process.  We believe that true pleasure in eating is not through chemical tricks,  but in truly wholesome foods at the core.  Start with real ingredients,  and the end product does not need chemicals.

Little sprouts is not certified organic,  we are way beyond organic. We don't do the bare minimum,  we strive to be extreme in producing chemical free food. We want the next generation to have the food that made this country great  the food from a time before health care was everyone's biggest concern. Food that is medicine for the body and nourishing for the soul.

Sound extreme?  That is what beyond organic is all about. .... doing as much as you can,  not as little as possible under a label defined under government lobbiest influence.

Beyond organic is where you want to be!